Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fox News Google Debate 9/22/2011 Statistics on Talking Time

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Adding a new candidate to the mix, Gary Johnson, did not seem to alleviate the disproportional speaking time experienced in past debates. However, the front-runner Rick Perry has come down from his average debate talking time of 14:27 (Perry=13:54 CNN, 14:59 MSNBC) to a still well above average of 11:10 being bested by Mitt Romney with 12:09.

However, it is still very easy to see a lot of the talking opportunities were left primarily to Perry & Romney accounting for 13 and 15 talking turns respectively. It is important to note that there were only 5 follow-up questions asked, 3 of which went to Perry & Romney. There were also 13 responses allowed (a candidate responding directly to another candidate), 9 of which were from Rick Perry & Mitt Romney combined.

If one looks at the polls as an indication as to how much debate allotment should be doled out to whom, then Fox has failed. Perry, Romney, Ron Paul, Bachmann are the order of the candidates in the polls, yet Ron Paul was only above Gary Johnson in his talking opportunities with only 6 total turns talking. Without the 3 blanket questions this left Paul with only 3 questions directed specifically to him, whereas Santorum, Huntsman, Bachmann, Gingrich and Cain were given more opportunities. It should then come as no surprise that Johnson and Paul came in as the longest to wait between turns talking. Johnson waited an average of 14:05, and Paul waited an average of 9:31.

Here are your statistics on the GOP Presidential Debate:

Total Talking Time
Romney 12:09
Perry 11:10
Huntsman 07:41
Santorum 07:06
Cain 06:23
Bachmann 06:13
Gingrich 05:44
Ron Paul 04:33
*Note: This is uninterrupted talking time, except for audience cheer/applause in the middle of a response as this goes against their official response time. Does not include moderators' time for questions/interactions.

% of Total Talk Time
Perry 17.14%
Huntsman 11.79%
Santorum 10.90%
Cain 9.80%
Bachmann 9.54%
Gingrich 8.80%
Ron Paul 6.98%
Johnson 6.40%

Turns Talking
Romney 15
Perry 13
Santorum 9
Huntsman 9
Bachmann 8
Gingrich 7
Cain 7
Ron Paul 6
Johnson 5
Total 79

Questions Responses Follow-ups
Perry 8 4 1
Romney 8 5 2
Bachmann 7 1 0
Gingrich 7 0 0
Cain 7 0 0
Santorum 7 1 1
Ron Paul 6 0 0
Huntsman 6 2 1
Johnson 5 0 0
Total 61 13 5

Avg Time between Talks
Johnson 14:05
Ron Paul 09:31
Cain 08:16
Gingrich 07:56
Huntsman 07:11
Bachmann 07:10
Santorum 06:43
Romney 04:46
Perry 04:37

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Monday, September 12, 2011

CNN Teaparty Debate 9/12/2011 Statistics

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Once again it was the Rick Perry & Mitt Romney show. Hogging up nearly 14 minutes and nearly 11 minutes respectively, the nearest talking time was Congresswoman Michele Bachmann with 8:35. Largely due to so many attacks on him, CNN gave no shortage of time to Rick Perry for response, and in many cases CNN actually initiated the back 'n forth. The case will probably be made that this was for the sake of continuing story-lines currently in the news cycle, but it is quite odd that in continuing news cycles that when the Federal Reserve is brought up for discussion that Santorum, Cain, Bachmann, Perry and Romney were all questioned, leaving out the one person in politics who is actually responsible for bringing the Federal Reserve out of the closet of secrecy: Ron Paul.

Oddly, the feedback loop continues since the talk time was given to the perceived frontrunners which will likely result in showing their highlights and discussing how they dominated the debate while everyone else was strangely absent. Perhaps it is time for a more forum-oriented national discussion, maybe half in actual forum with extended time-allotments and the other half in direct debates. I, for one, would love an entire debate where the candidates moderate. Can't be worse than this.

Here are the statistics:
Talking Time (mm:ss):
Perry 13:54
Romney 10:56
Ron Paul 07:34
Bachmann 08:35
Newt 07:32
Cain 05:42
Santorum 07:06
Huntsman 07:50
Total 1:09:09
*Note: This is uninterrupted talking time, except for audience cheer/applause in the middle of a response as this goes against their official response time. Does not include moderators' time for questions/interactions.

% of Total Talking Time:
Perry 20.10%
Romney 15.81%
Ron Paul 10.94%
Bachmann 12.41%
Newt 10.89%
Cain 8.24%
Santorum 10.27%
Huntsman 11.33%

# Turns Talking:
Perry 18
Romney 10
Ron Paul 7
Bachmann 8
Newt 5
Cain 6
Santorum 7
Huntsman 7
*Note: Does not include introductory & closing statement as these were all-included. Only responses longer than 10+ seconds.

Avg Time Between Turns:
Perry 02:37
Romney 04:40
Ron Paul 07:19
Bachmann 06:29
Newt 09:44
Cain 08:45
Santorum 06:30
Huntsman 07:19

As for platform time, Cain was robbed with only speaking 5 minutes and 42 seconds; Newt didn't get to address too many topics. Speaking of which...

Topics / Discussion Time:
Opening Comments
Social Security 10:21
Budget / Debt 05:23
Economy 12:53
Federal Reserve 04:27
Taxes 04:11
Executive Orders 05:23
Healthcare / Insurance 06:57
Immigration 08:22
Energy Independence 00:52
Defense Spending 02:39
Foreign Policy 03:46
Personal Question

The economy and Social Security dominating the discussion. Overall, covering a gamut of topics.

There you have it, statistically.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

MSNBC/Politico 9-7-2011 Debate: Statistics on Talking Time & The Perry Romney Show

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To the casual viewer, it's clear that this debate revolved around Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. Perhaps a little understandable that the media and masses are eager to hear from the new kid on the block, Rick Perry, but the penalty of waiting so long to jump in the race is, in fact, the loss of your time to promote your platform. While understandable, it's an error to allot any extra time to the "new kid" or to polled front-runners.

Why? Obviously, the point of a debate is to allow discussion of each candidate's views in order to help them change their campaign in the polls. The very move of giving extra time to current front-runners only reenforces the front-runners' lead and perception of importance. It's a feedback loop. If there is one time that even coverage should not only be allowed, but expected, it's in a debate. If you don't want to hear from certain candidates then why are they there? It can be no surprise that the most memorable performance will go to one of the candidates given the most talking time. To hear a candidate say that Bachmann underperformed is absurd, it's hard to perform without adequate time. I'm no fan of Bachmann, to say it politely, but I am a fan of equality.

Here are the statistics:
Total Time Spent Talking (minutes):
Perry 14:59
Mitt 11:57
Paul 09:19
Bachmann 09:05
Newt 06:53
Herman 05:41
Santorum 06:11
Huntsman 08:52

Number of "Talking Blocks" (not the number of questions, but the number of times allocated to one person at a time. Ex: Perry answers question, is asked a followup and they move to Cain. This is 1 block of talking time for Perry.):
Perry 15
Mitt 11
Paul 7
Bachmann 8
Newt 6
Herman 6
Santorum 5
Huntsman 7

Average Time Between Questions/Talking Blocks (minutes, rounded to nearest 2nd decimal):
Perry 3.98
Mitt 5.23
Paul 9.09
Bachmann 7.15
Newt 10.14
Herman 11.01
Santorum 11.18
Huntsman 7.77

Percentage of Talking Time Allotted:
Perry 20.54%
Mitt 16.38%
Paul 12.77%
Bachmann 12.45%
Newt 9.44%
Herman 7.79%
Santorum 8.48%
Huntsman 12.15%
73 Minutes Total Talking Time

Other interesting factoids: Ron Paul was the last talker before every break, including the last speaker at the debate's end. Rick Perry and Mitt Romney were the first speakers at the beginning or return from each break, including the lead-off to the debate (it was Perry/Romney/Perry).

By all accounts, there weren't really big losers, just two big winners: Perry and Romney. Though the case can be made that Santorum and Herman Cain both were rather silent, taking up only 11 or 12 minutes combined. In each stat it's easy to see that it never took long to get back around to Perry or Romney. The real mystery is how Huntsman, though statistically without a heartbeat in the polls, managed to get as much action as Paul and Bachmann.

Just seems rather arbitrary by the forum.

Note: None of the talking time contains any of the moderators' talking/questioning. The stats reflect only the time actually spent talking by candidates.